It’s over. Six months after it began, the main camp of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in North Dakota was cleared out today by law enforcement.
Many of the 200-300 protesters remaining at the Dakota Access Pipeline main camp, known as Oceti Sakowin, packed up and left yesterday. Some chose to burn down shelters they had built over the past several months on their way out. But a few holdouts remained today so police moved in and cleared the camp one final time. From the Seattle Times:
Police moved on the camp Thursday morning in dozens of armored personnel carriers, as a helicopter and fixed-wing airplane circled overhead. Police moved tent to tent and shack to shack with guns drawn, clearing out demonstrators. By 2:09 p.m. Central Time, it was over.
As many as 100 demonstrators were in the camp, according to activists, but authorities estimated 50.
Apparently, 39 people were arrested today. Authorities had previously offered anyone who wanted to leave some food, a hotel voucher and a bus pass to anywhere in the country. The total cost of the cleanup of the site is starting at $800,000 though it’s believed that could go as high as $1.2 million by the time everything is done. Meanwhile, environmental groups such as 350.org which supported the protest are vowing to continue the fight [emphasis in original]:
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, The Indigenous Environmental Network and Native Organizers Alliance among many others have called for Native Nations Rising: Rise with Standing Rock on March 10 in Washington D.C. Our mission is to carry the momentum Standing Rock started to other Indigenous communities and to focus not just on the rights of one tribe but of all Native Nations.
From March 7th — March 10th Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island (The United States) will hold a tipi camp near the Washington Monument and on March 10th thousands of Indigenous Peoples and their allies, including 350.org, will march through Washington D.C. to demand that Indigenous rights be respected, that tribal consent is given when any economic development happens on tribal land, and that President Trump meets with Tribal Leaders so he can take accountability for his actions.
The development company is working to complete the final section of the pipeline and says it could be delivering oil in as little as 60 days.